Friday, 13 October 2017

KASUKUWERE : I WILL FIRE UNDER-PERFORMING MAYORS

Officials running urban and rural local authorities have been put on notice and will be fired if they fail to restore sanity and cleanliness in towns and cities under their jurisdiction, Local Government, Rural Development and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has said. Minister Kasukuwere said Government will not hesitate to wield the axe on under-performing local authorities executives.

He was addressing delegates at a joint meeting of provincial and district administrators, chief executive officers, town clerks and secretaries in Harare yesterday.

“The main problem areas are uncontrolled traffic, uncontrolled vending and uncontrolled residential developments,” said Minister Kasukuwere. “The President has stated that this disorder is no longer tolerable and I expect all local authorities to reassert their authority in these areas.

“Chaos and dirt must be washed out. There is a lot of lawlessness in our towns and cities. I will not tolerate a situation where l will be answerable to your mistakes. If you ask me to descend from my position to do the job required of you, I will dismiss you.” Minister Kasukuwere said he will not continue to shoulder the blame for the decay in towns and cities when those who were ordinarily culpable continued being ineffective.

“It is of concern that many urban centres, be they under urban or rural district councils, have lost their ambiance and now are chaotic and filthy,” said Minister Kasukuwere.
“Zimbabwe has always stood out from other Third World countries for being well planned and smart, but of late this is no longer the case.” Minister Kasukuwere said President Mugabe had since ordered a stop to the lawlessness that now existed within cities and towns. President Mugabe last week put both urban and rural authorities under one Ministry when he reshuffled his Cabinet. They now fall under the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and National Housing led by Minister Kasukuwere.

Minister Kasukuwere expressed his disappointment that while Harare City Council had now begun to act, standards had been allowed to unravel under the watch of the local authority’s director of housing and urban planning, and the town clerk. He ordered the city council to re-organise its bus termini, move vendors to designated places such as Mbare and open new vending sites. The city council started moving illegal vendors, who had virtually taken over the cityscape, from the central business district (CBD) on Thursday.

Minister Kasukuwere said all local authorities’ expenditure should adhere to the 70:30 percent ratio for service delivery and employment costs, respectively, as that would help them to deliver on their mandate. He noted that though he appreciated the challenging environment that the local authorities were operating under, it was important for them to remain committed to work for the people.

“At your various levels, be advised, you personify Government on the ground,” he said. “Your actions, whether good or bad, reflect on the image of Government. I am aware that issues around management of housing development, land, levies, depleting revenue sources, amongst others have been of great concern to the local authorities. With your support and cooperation, I want to assure you that I will vigorously pursue these and other pertinent matters with the urgency they deserve. A unity of purpose amongst all actors is important if the sector is to deliver tangible development.”

 Speaking on the 2018 harmonised elections, Minister Kasukuwere said: “It is my expectation that local authorities will give particular attention to the functionality of public amenities and attendant public infrastructure in and around points that usually serve as polling stations.
“In this regard, I urge all local authorities to ensure that all strategic public facilities such as roads, halls, water and sewer reticulation are fully attended to.” Minister Kasukuwere said all provincial and district administrators will be capacitated to ensure that they are able enforce law and order in areas under their jurisdiction. herald

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